NewYork-Presbyterian decodes complex medical breakthroughs with animation

A partnership between the Hospital's marketing and communications teams amplifies paid content through organic channels.

NewYork-Presbyterian, in collaboration with our academic partners Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medicine, is at the forefront of many groundbreaking medical discoveries in research and clinical care.

While sharing these breakthroughs with the larger medical community is vital to continued innovation, it’s also critical to inform the general public about these advances, so they can make informed decisions about their healthcare and advocate for themselves as patients. 

Our number one commitment across the entire institution is that "we put patients first." That commitment starts before a patient ever walks through our doors. With that commitment in mind, NewYork-Presbyterian launched what became a series of animated ads to help increase the public’s understanding of the latest advances in the treatment of cancer and heart disease, the leading causes of death in the U.S.

To create these ads, NewYork-Presbyterian’s Marketing Department and its agency partner, Seiden Advertising, enlisted the help of renowned graphic designer and artist Noma Bar.

To date, there have been three ads: "Unmasking a Killer" explains the science behind immunotherapy with beautiful, eye-catching animations that distills complex ideas into a simple, powerful message about new approaches to fighting cancer. The second ad "Cracking the Code" uses the same approach to help explain precision medicine, and most recently, "Journey to the Heart" describes the revolutionary, minimally invasive cardiac procedure known as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). In "Journey to the Heart," Bar uses everyday objects —a pump, a car, a washing machine, an umbrella — or what is known as ready-made art, to once again make a complex and important new therapy easy for patients to understand.

For each ad, the Office of Communications at NewYork-Presbyterian sought to amplify its message and animation on our owned platforms. We shared "Unmasking a Killer" on our social media channels after this ad first aired during the 2016 Super Bowl, also marking the first time we used paid content on Facebook and Twitter. As we saw continued success and engagement from our audiences, we decided to ramp up our efforts. For "Journey to the Heart," we worked alongside the marketing team and agency partner to help turn the commercial into a "360 degree" campaign that encompassed social media, media relations, internal communications and editorial features.

To support the "Journey to the Heart," the teams developed an integrated outreach plan with the shared goal of raising awareness of NewYork-Presbyterian’s role as a leader in innovative cardiac treatments, while also educating the public about an important lifesaving procedure.

To reach that goal, a variety of content was created by the PR team to support the print, online and broadcast ads featuring Bar’s graphic designs and animation. 

The editorial team published a "behind the scenes" piece on Noma Bar on Health Matters, NewYork-Presbyterian’s website featuring news and insights from the institution.  The media relations team created a tip sheet on the history of TAVR, highlighting NewYork-Presbyterian’s role as a pioneer in the evolution of the lifesaving procedure. Both the ad and tip sheet have also become a valuable asset when pitching cardiac stories to journalists and editors.

The social media team undertook an extensive campaign to repurpose all of the commercial’s available assets, including edited versions of the final video and images of the animation. The team also shared and promoted the article about the creator of the animation on HealthMatters.nyp.org and shared the tip sheet about advances in TAVR on all our social channels.

The success is in the numbers: through this multipronged and collaborative effort, the TAVR ad has been viewed online in its multiple lengths more than 1.9 million times. The social media posts engaged thousands and the overall effort from the media department has resulted in a rise of interest from news organizations looking for more information on TAVR and other cardiac procedures performed throughout the institution.

The effort has also been a model for our teams, showing how successful a campaign can be when our marketing and communications teams come to the table together. The response to this latest animated ad has cemented our commitment to collaborate on campaigns and initiatives and replicate this resounding success in the future.

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